Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 10:55 AM ET, 04/ 7/2009

Kanye West's Sneak(er) Attack

By Liz Kelly

I have a friend in L.A. who is sneaker crazy. She collects mostly Adidas and has them lined up along a wall like so much art and, from time to time, she'll inadvertently include me, non-sneaker freak, on her e-mail blasts alerting the similarly obsessed to opportunities to score limited edition kicks.

Sneakers are big business, so it is no surprise that culture chronicler and shrewd businessman Kanye West has jumped feet first into the sneaker game, over the weekend unveiling a bold block of a shoe -- the Nike Air Yeezy:


Here's Nike's official description:

Equipped with debossed ankle collar pods for added support and protection, extra-thick sock liners, a forefoot support strap, original functional tension lace loops, and Phylon tooling taken from the 1987 Nike Air Assault for added performance and comfort—all developed and integrated with one goal in mind: to keep Kanye on lock down in cushioned comfort during his performances during his many notoriously strenuous artistic live performances.

Idiots like me may look at these shoes and find them a riotous abominable combination of color and clunkiness, comfortable or not. One poster at sneaker-tracking site put it much better than I: "These is UGLY seriously watz wit dat BIG [expletive] strap dat ish looks outta place seriously D’s is WEAK yes they exclusive but they trash."

Pete Wentz at March's Kids' Choice Awards with Lauren Collins, Miriam McDonald, Nina Dobrev and his Air Yeezys. (Getty Images)

I couldn't agree more. But, apparently not everyone does. For instance, noted fashionista Pete Wentz, at right. Or the guy in this video who likens the shoe's design to Lanvin and Prada. Or these stalwart sneaker fans who camped out in front of L.A.'s Beverly Center to get the first crack at their own pair. Or the 19 bidders that have bid this hideous grey and orange pair up to a price of $535 on eBay.

The Air Yeezy madness even reached as far as chronically un-hip (but we're coming around) D.C., where sneaker fans turned out for a Saturday raffle at Commonwealth D.C. -- the prize being the opportunity to buy a pair of the sneaks, which retail at around $215. A bargain.

And we thought the economy was failing.

By Liz Kelly  | April 7, 2009; 10:55 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, Fashion  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson Split, Ronson Family Seeks Restraining Order
Next: Madonna Donates to Quake Victims; LiLo Opens Up About Split


"These is UGLY seriously watz wit dat BIG [expletive] strap dat ish looks outta place seriously D’s is WEAK yes they exclusive but they trash."

Ditto, only with better use of the English language.

Posted by: milesdy | April 7, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

i've seen some ugly docs and chucks in my time - and some seriously over the top adidas metro attitudes - but these really do look like they were designed by someone with some keds, a highliter, and a gluestik.

Posted by: quintiliusvarus | April 7, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I prefer Nike's Air Weezie. Perfect for "movin' on up to the East side."

Posted by: mdreader01 | April 7, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I am having 80's flashbacks! I swear I had a pair of Reebocks back then that looked very similar.

Posted by: hodie | April 7, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Holy sh-nikes, those are ugly. I am particularly horrified by the pair on the far right-what color would we call that? Granny's orthropedic sandals brown? Nasty pantyhose? Ungodly.

Posted by: ASinMoCo | April 7, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

i am so not feeling it.

Posted by: memphis1 | April 7, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Ok this wasn't letting me post on the morning mix and I can't let my homage to Viggo go... :) PS the sneakers are FUGLY!

Viggo - don't go!!! You are at the top of my kitchen pass list (ahead of Hugh!). Although I can understand there is a lot of other cool stuff you do (seeing as you are already a published poet, musician, photographer and painter as well a rockin horseback rider)...

What's not to love about a dude who

" At his commencement, he refused to wear an academic gown because they were made by sweatshop workers."

Total package, thats our Viggo...

Posted by: LTL1 | April 7, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Forget about that look -- just read the description! Phylon tooling? Kanye on lockdown? And I think they broke a record for number of adjectives needed to describe his performances there at the end.

Why not just go back to the those original Nike waffle iron shoes from the movie about Steve Prefontaine. I bet Pete Wentz would wear them.

Posted by: 44west | April 7, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

There is a reference in Time magazine to Kanye changing his name (P. Diddy fashion). Worst part of it is, he wants to be the new MLK Jr.

Posted by: kvs09 | April 7, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I have no words to describe my disgust with these fashion no-no's, so I will instead vomit on my desk. Thanks, Liz.

And I don't think the MLK name change is a new thing. I remember reading it a couple months ago in this very blog. It just makes him more of a feminine cleansing product.

Posted by: eet7e | April 7, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Wow, wee Pete is a little bit of a thing, isn't he?

Posted by: Californian11 | April 7, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I tend not to associate Pete Wentz with "notoriously strenuous artistic live performances."

Posted by: mdreader01 | April 7, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I've got a better name, how 'bout
"They're Sleazy"!

Posted by: Bren21157 | April 7, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

mdreader, I am so looking forward to a new rap by you to celebrate the new Air Yeeze's.

Posted by: hodie | April 7, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Pete Wentz, The guyliner is bad enough, now you have to wear these fugly shoes w/the girly peach trim?

Posted by: jes11 | April 7, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Fugliest shoes since these ones came on the market:

Posted by: byoolin1 | April 7, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Byoolin - Those are high top bowling shoes! Who knew they could be fashion?

Posted by: JLRGG | April 7, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I vote these shoes be given the pleated pants treatment. Although, I could have sworn they've been done before.

Posted by: petalceleb | April 7, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

That sort of weird fake skin-tone tan color pair reminds me of a big plastic Band-Aid. The ones with perforations for air circulation.

But as fugly as these are, I've seen worse. At least none of these are plaid. Bright purple and pink plaid is my least favorite.

Posted by: northgs | April 7, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Well, krap, Hodie, that's quite a throwdown. I'm not sure I'm up for it. Lessee...

From "Stronger"

Awesome Manolos and Christian Dior
Damn, they don't make shoes like this anymore
I ask 'cause I'm not sure
Do anybody make real shoes anymore?
Bow in the presence of greatness
'cause right you're trippin' on your laces
You should be wearin' shoes with braces

Posted by: mdreader01 | April 7, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Holy sh-nikes, those are ugly. I am particularly horrified by the pair on the far right-what color would we call that? Granny's orthropedic sandals brown? Nasty pantyhose? Ungodly.

Posted by: ASinMoCo | April 7, 2009 12:07 PM

Those are the Nikes for White Men Who Think They Can Jump.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | April 7, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

These shoes must be the F-me Pumps that Kanye wears for his cellmate.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | April 7, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I have joint issues, and at first, I thought the idea of the ankle support straps built into the sneaker was an interesting idea.

And then I realized they make my Crocs look like Manolo Blahniks.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | April 7, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Whoa, forget how butt ugly they are- are these shoes for guys? Mr. Plamar and most dudes I know would never run around w/pink or that girly shade of orange trim on their kicks! Kanye/Nike may want to offer more options for the straight or butch gay man.

Posted by: plamar1031 | April 8, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

The pair in the middle kind of remind me of the Nikes in 'Back to the Future II' albeit not quite as cool as those... *sigh*

Posted by: MrKPrez2U | April 9, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company